Marino Las Baulas National Park


Las Baulas National Park of Guanacaste is located within the Bay of Tamarindo in Santa Cruz canton, in the districts of Cabo Velas and Tamarindo. It has an area of 175 km2; 7.7 in the land sector, 171.36 km2, or 12 nautical miles in the marine sector.
The annual rainfall is 1811.2 mm. 95% of the precipitation is concentrated in the months of May to November and 4.2% corresponds from December to April.
This wild area was created in order to provide protection to leatherback turtle populations that come to nest in Playa Grande, Ventanas and Langosta beaches. This is also a site of global importance for Tamarindo estuary and its mangrove forest, as well as other estuaries of smaller size but of equal beauty, such as the San Francisco and Ventanas estuaries.
​The National Park is open to the public every day of the year from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Except for the turtle spawning season (October-February), the beach stay is allowed until 5:00 PM.
You can reach the National Park by means of two main routes:
  • San José-Liberia-Filadelfia-Belén-Huacas-Matapalo-Playa Grande or Tamarindo.
  • San José-Las Juntas de Abangares-La Amistad Bridge-Santa Cruz-Villa Real-Matapalo-Playa Grande or Tamarindo.
Park attractions
Biological Resources: About 117 species of trees and shrubs have been identified. 139 different species of birds, of which 55 are latitudinal migrants and 8 migrate or move within the country, 34% of these species require mangrove forests, 52% of these birds need forest areas.
The Las Baulas National Marine Park is visited by three species of turtles: leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), black turtle (Chelonia agassizii).
Florist's Associations: At Las Baulas National Marine Park there are among others:
Dry deciduous forest (species of trees that bore foliage in the dry season): in which, it is common to find species such as; pore pore, laurel, naked Indian, pochote, madroño, among others.
Dry semi deciduous forest: in this sector the vegetation is more diverse, since it presents evergreen species (species that maintain the foliage all year), the most representative species are: guapinol, guanacaste, black olive, ron-ron, tempisque, Laurel, Carao and others.
Vegetation of cliffs: mainly around the hill Morro, the vegetation is bent upwards by the action of the winds. The arboreal species found in this sector are: naked Indian, yayo, nance, white flower, cactus, cabuyas.
Gallery forest: these forests are formed by the combination of deciduous and evergreen species.
Mangrove forests: these are located in estuaries, within the protected area are around 5 types of mangrove: mangrove, mangle piñuela, red mangrove, white or ladybird, mangrove rod.
Tortuga Baula (Dermochelys coriacea): It is par excellence the main attraction of this protected area, this being the main reason for the creation of this National Park. The leatherback turtle is a critically endangered species worldwide, in the National Park this species has as nesting sites the Langosta, Grande and Ventanas beaches.

Wetlands: Among the wetlands is the Tamarindo Estuary of worldwide importance, San Francisco and Ventanas.
Surf, Sun and Sea: Within the National Park there are beaches for the enjoyment and practice of water sports such as surfing in Playa Grande and Playa Langosta, shallow diving in Playa Carbón.
Services and facilities
Basic Services: Information Center, in the park ranger office (basic services are available). Checkpoint on the beach. Control post in the mangrove. Tour around the mangrove. Local guides.
Information in the booth. Presentation about natural history, given to the people who come to the turtle tour. 
​•  Spawning season: October-February.
​•  Clothing: Light clothes for hot weather, sunglasses, sunscreen, repellent in the day, for the night we recommend long trousers for mosquitoes, enough water. Please ask the park rangers about the danger sites in the Protected Area.
​•  The season to see the turtle nesting begins on October 20 and ends on February 15.
•  The maximum quota per group is 15 people, which must be accompanied by a tourist promoter or local guide.
•  The beach has two official entrances, booth # 1, in the offices of MINAE and booth # 2 on the edge of the Tamarindo estuary. Between the two booths, the load capacity will be limited to 120 people (60 per booth).
•  It is not allowed to photograph the turtles, nor to touch them, it should only be observed from the back and in silence.
•  The flashlight can only be used by the guide and it must have a red filter.